When was the last time you fasted? perhaps you think fasting is for the church leaders. Fasting is a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time.
Many religions including Islam and Hinduism observe fasting as a regular practice. Fasting has many therapeutic effects on the body and offers a myriad of health benefits as well. We encourage those with health problems to consult a qualified medical practitioner before fasting.
Here are some physical, spiritual and health benefits of fasting.
1. Fasting improves your brain function
Fasting is a challenge to your brain, and your brain responds to that challenge by adopting stress response pathways that help your brain cope with stress and disease risk.
The same changes that occur in the brain during fasting mimic the changes that occur with regular exercise — both increase the production of protein in the brain (neurotrophic factors), which in turn promotes the growth of neurons, the connection between neurons, and the strength of synapses.
2. Fasting enhances liver and kidney functions
Liver and kidney functions are improved which aids in the body’s detoxification. These positive effects actually carry on even after the fast has ceased.
3. Fasting improves heart function
Research shows that fasting can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, control diabetes and reduce weight as well. If we can reduce these, we can reduce the risk of heart diseases.
4. Fasting helps prevent cancer
Fasting improves the ability to stimulate growth hormone production. Fasting can slow and even stop the progression of cancer; kills cancer cells, boosts the immune system and significantly improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
5. It improves your immune system
According to scientists at the University of Southern, California, fasting has the power to regenerate the entire immune system by boosting the body’s production of new white blood cells which fights off infections.
6.Fasting speed up Metabolism
Fasting gives your digestive system a rest and this can energies your metabolism to burn through more efficiently.
7. Fasting promotes longevity
The less you eat the longer you will live. Believe it or not. Studies have shown how the lifespan of people in a certain culture increased due to their diets.
A new study from Harvard researchers has now shown how fasting can increase lifespan, slow aging and improve health by altering the activity of mitochondrial networks inside our cells. Related:15 Reasons Why You Should Never Give Up No Matter What
8. Fasting reduces oxidative stress
Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance in the body’s production of reactive oxygen and its antioxidative defense and may lead to chronic diseases and cancers. Fasting can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the body.
9. Fasting helps improves mood, sex and sound sleep
Researchers at Pennington Biomedical research center in Louisiana have found that periodic fasting gives you better mood, sounder sleep and improves sexual function.
10. Fasting helps clear the skin and prevent Acne
By restricting the intake to just water, the body gets an opportunity to flush out toxins and harmful substances. Blood circulation in the body also improves resulting in efficient oxygen supply to the cells all over the body.
Skin health also improves and many conditions like acne, pimples, scars and dry skin can be cured by water fasting.
11. Fasting draw you near to God
Fasting is one of the ways we can draw nearer to God, during this time you get ample time to read the scripture and pray more.
12. Fasting helps you quit a bad habit
If you are trying to refrain from a bad habit like addicted to alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and nicotine, fasting makes it easier to overcome.
13. Fasting helps us to humble ourselves
Humility is premium in the kingdom of God, and fasting is one way of depending on God. When you fast the body becomes weak and your spirit also become strong which help us to humble ourselves.
14. Fasting and prayer put you in the best possible position for a breakthrough
Everyone needs a breakthrough in some area of his or her life. If you have any need in your life, you need a breakthrough from God to meet that need! Fasting and prayer break the yoke of bondage and bring about a release of God’s presence, power, and provision.
15. Fasting improves eating patterns
Fasting can be a helpful practice for those who suffer from binge eating disorders and for those who find it difficult to establish a correct eating pattern due to work and other priorities.
Safety and Side Effects
Despite the long list of possible health benefits associated with fasting, it may not be right for everyone.
If you suffer from diabetes or low blood sugar, fasting can lead to spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels, which could be dangerous.
If you decide to try fasting, be sure to stay well-hydrated. Additionally, if fasting for longer periods, try to minimize intense physical activity and get plenty of rest.
Fasting is a practice that has been associated with a wide array of potential health benefits, including weight loss, as well as improved blood sugar control, heart health, brain function, and cancer prevention.
From water fasting to intermittent fasting and calorie restriction, there are many different types of fasting that fit nearly every lifestyle.
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